How to Find the Best Online Betting Site
There are a few vital factors that make some sportsbooks better than others. The bookmakers featured on our top list have all been vetted by our team of experts and researchers to make sure you have a quality experience. Here are the features you always want to look out for as you explore various sportsbooks across the web:
- Clear certification and licensing
- Financial security encryptions
- Great welcome offer, bonus, or free bet offers
- Easy-to-use interface
- Fast and easy payouts
- Excellent customer service
- Mobile quality and features
You can always tell the difference between a certified, legal site and a scam – most bookmakers proudly display their certification right on their main page, and you can find information about them when you search their name. Only licenced sites will have the right encryptions and algorithms that keep your financial information safe. If you decide to go with online betting sites that are not on our list, make sure that it is not blacklisted.
Sportsbook Betting FAQ – Common Sports Betting Questions in India
Here are the most common questions most individuals ask before signing up on an online betting site.
Q: Is online betting a scam?
A: No! Licensed betting sites are not a scam – they will pay you when you win. Most people are afraid that they won’t be able to collect their winnings, but as long as you stick to a regulated sportsbook they have a legal obligation to pay out.
Licensed online casinos and sportsbooks have government oversight from the local body where they are based (like Curacao or the Malta Gaming Authority). The best online betting sites are subjected to regular testing to make sure that they are being fair with their customers.
Q: Is online betting legal in India?
A: No, and yes. This answer is complicated in India. The federal government’s only law against gambling was written before online gambling, so internet gambling is legal by a technicality. Each state then has the authority to create laws around gambling, and most states have abstained from creating any laws either legalizing it or otherwise.
Only two states have formally legalized both land-based casinos and online gambling and sports betting, Goa and Sikkim. It is important to note that India doesn’t prosecute players, only those who run illegal gambling sites. Most legal sites are based in either Goa or Sikkim, where it’s legal. Otherwise, Indian players rely on international bookies that accept rupees. So, you can feel safe placing bets at licenced bookmakers.
Q: What sports can I bet on?
A: As you can imagine, cricket is the most popular sport in India to bet on, followed by football and field hockey. You can also bet on horse racing, kabaddi, badminton, tennis, basketball, American football, ice hockey, rugby, motor racing, and boxing. Different sites will have different featured sports, so if you don’t see your favourite on this list, that doesn’t mean it isn’t available somewhere!
Q: Is it legal to bet on cricket online in India?
A: Not exactly. India’s sports betting regulations leave a lot of grey area, including for sports like cricket. That being said – cricket is easily India’s most popular game to bet on, with more than $17 billion made in profits last year from cricket betting online. So, you can feel safe placing wagers on cricket matches online, as long as you’re using a licenced site.
Q: Where can I bet on the IPL? Do any betting sites specialize in cricket?
A: India’s cricket obsession means that there are plenty of sites dedicated to cricket and the IPL specifically. If you’re looking to bet on your favourite Premier League team, LeoVegas, 22Bet, BetWay, and 10Cric have you covered. They’ve got wagers going on every match, as well as plenty of opportunities for live betting.
Q: How do I join a sportsbook site?
A: It’s very easy to sign up once you’ve chosen the sportsbook you want. Gambling sites make themselves easily accessible. Hit the sign-up button and follow the directions. You will create an account, confirm your email address, and confirm your age and identity. This is for your safety. Once you’ve done that, you can make a deposit and claim the sign-up bonus before you start placing wagers! Some sportsbooks have a free bet for newcomers, which means they’ll cover the losses on your initial bet up to a certain amount.
Q: How many betting sites can I join?
A: As many as you want, there are no restrictions in that sense. It’s best to only join as many sites as you can actually keep track of, otherwise, you’ll only end up losing. Gambling on games is supposed to be a fun hobby – too many sites can be stressful. It’s up to your best judgement! You can bet on multiple matches on each site if you want to receive more winnings – all sites will have your bet slip in view at all times. Simply click on it to view all of your current standing bets and results.
Q: How do I make deposits or withdrawals from betting sites in India?
A: When you make your first deposit, you will be prompted to submit documents to verify your identity. A licenced site wants to make sure they’re following all the rules. Luckily, it’s not a difficult process and you only have to do it once for each site. To make a deposit, simply hit the deposit button and follow the directions for adding a payment method. Once your payment method is verified, type in the amount you want to deposit and it should appear instantly. You can then claim your deposit bonus.
When you’re ready to withdraw, go to your account and press the withdraw icon. You’ll have to choose a banking method for the money to go to (money can’t be deposited on credit cards). Once the withdrawal is approved, it should take anywhere between 24 hours and a week to process, depending on both the betting site and the chosen banking method.
Q: What is a welcome bonus? How do I claim my bonus?
A: Many sportsbooks will give you a bonus for signing up and making your first deposit. A sign-up bonus or no-deposit bonus is usually small, around $5-10 that you can put towards your first wager. A deposit bonus, welcome bonus, or welcome offer, is much larger. You get one if you deposit a certain amount your first time. Most bonuses are added automatically, through a bonus code, or can be claimed by going to the promotional page and pressing “claim my bonus.” You can also get a free bet on some sites. Rather than giving a bonus, sites advertise a free bet – which means they cover your losses if your wager doesn’t win on your first try. It’s also common to get an odds boost for online betting.
Q: Can I bet from my phone or tablet?
A: Yes! Many sites are optimized for mobile players. Most people like to be able to keep track of their bets on the go, which is why all the sites featured on our site have excellent mobile features. You’ll be able to make deposits, place bets, view your bet slip, and everything else you can normally do from a PC.
Sports Betting Laws in India
India’s Public Gambling Act of 1867 is the federal stance on betting – and it only refers to land-based gambling. The federal government has left it up to states to decide what they want to do. Most states do not yet have laws regarding gambling on the books. Thus, players are not prosecuted for betting. Illegal establishments are often shut down by the government. This actually protects players as well as the entire industry. This also means that in many states gambling is a grey area – neither quite illegal or legal.
Gambling is expressly legal in only two states – Goa and Sikkim. Most Indian-based casinos are headquartered in those states. Players in India are restricted from gambling with other currencies, so many international casinos now accept rupees, encouraging even more people to begin betting online.
Betting on sporting matches is also slightly different. States look at most casino games as luck and chance games, which is quite different from sport, which relies on knowledge and skill. Betting on horse racing has always been popular, for example.
Gambling, including online betting, is only strictly prohibited in Maharashtra.
How Online Gambling Laws Affect You
It’s important to know that you will not be prosecuted for gambling unless you live in a territory where it is strictly illegal. Players aren’t prosecuted for placing bets, although those individuals running unlicensed sportsbooks may face legal consequences.
Though gambling isn’t illegal, The Information Technology Act of 2000 does give the federal government power to block service to some foreign sites, although this is rarely done.
Banking and Payment Laws in India
The trickiest gambling laws in India revolve around the usage of payment methods and currency. The Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999 governs currency exchanges and may flag you if you’re playing in a currency other than rupees.
Also, most credit card companies have their own rules that they abide by that prevent fraudulent activity making it more difficult to use cards to gamble. Some bank accounts may also forbid deposits or withdrawals from casino sites. It’s recommended that you use an eWallet, like Skrill or Neteller for your banking purposes. These sites act as the middleman so that you don’t have charges from a betting site showing up on your credit card or bank statements.
Payment Methods in India
Before you start betting real money, you should be familiar with what financial accounts you can use to safely and legally place wagers in on online casino games and sporting matches on betting sites.
You can use Visa and Mastercard to make deposits. However, be warned that using credit cards is a hit-or-miss method. Sometimes the credit card company will block you from making a deposit. You will also not be allowed to withdraw money onto your credit card once you’re ready to collect your winnings.
If you’re using your bank account to make deposits and withdrawals, this is also known as a wire transfer. There may also be an issue with using your bank account, as some banks specifically prohibit gambling sites. You should call your bank to check beforehand.
Wire Transfer (IMPS)
Many players prefer to use IMPS (Immediate Payment Service) to gamble through the internet. You connect your bank account to the IMPS site and use your IMPS account to deposit and withdraw. That way, gambling sites won’t show up on your bank statements.
Skrill & Neteller
These eWallets are the most common choice for Indian players looking to place real money wagers. You connect your bank account or credit card, and then use the eWallet to deposit and withdraw funds from your account. It’s an easy way to bypass financial legal formalities.
Although many betting sites now allow users to bank with cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, it’s not as common for sports betting. Still, some sites will absolutely allow you to use crypto as a form of payment. Since there are laws around gambling with major credit cards and some bank accounts, many players have opted for converting their cash into BitCoin and wagering that way.
It’s a safe and secure method, but most Indian players prefer not to use it. Due to various restrictions, PayPal’s fees are very high in India. If you don’t mind the fees, you’ll appreciate the fact that withdrawals only take 24 hours.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on
With the current market in India, players will see a large amount of variety. You’ll have options to bet on local favourites, like the IPL, or go for an internationally-based betting site, which will allow you to bet on various European leagues or American sports. Here are the most popular sporting matches to wager on in India:
- Cricket (IPL and BPL are most popular)
- Field Hockey
- Motor Sports
- Ice Hockey
- American Football
This is just the list of the most popular events to bet on – so you actually have many more options. Whatever your favourite sport is, you will likely find a site for that.
Odds and Play Lines
Online betting is remarkable for the number of options and variety, but this can also be overwhelming. It’s actually simpler than you’d think, and once you place a wager for real money a few times, you’ll already be familiar with the types of bets, odds, and play lines.
The types of bets you can place will vary by sport. You can wager on everything from the outcome of the match, to how many goals each team scores, to how many cards a player receives during a match. Sites like BetWay and LeoVegas boast more than 50 different types of bets per game. They’ll also have a guide which will make it easy for you to choose.
Use the bet slip option that’s available on nearly every betting site to view the bets you already have in place, as well as any recent results.
The odds are usually represented in decimal form and will be available to you when you’re browsing through matches. This number represents the potential return of the bet as well as the stake amount. For example, even odds are represented as 2.00. Winning this bet would double your stake.
Types of Sports Bets
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the most common types of bets before you start betting real money.
This is a single wager placed on one selection (like the outcome of a game). It’s generally considered the safest bet as there are fewer variables.
An accumulator bet is the most popular. They combine three or more wagers into a single wager, with the odds of each match being multiplied by the next. It can lead to big profits, but each selection will need to win in order to gain the full winnings.
This is also considered to be a live bet or a wager that takes place as the game goes on. It’s very popular in cricket and football. The odds are lower because players can assess the game as they place bets, but can still lead to great winnings.
Here, you can place wagers on various matches, but it doesn’t require all of your selections to win for you to collect. With this, betters can cover more outcomes and win more.
In-Play Betting, Better Known as Live Play
Live betting is a very popular feature springing on the most popular sites, also known as live betting or in-play betting. It’s especially popular for cricket, football, tennis, and horseracing. Some sites even stream the matches!
Live betting is exactly what it sounds like – you place wagers throughout the game. You’ll still have all the different bet varieties so you can wager on anything from the outcome to how many goals a specific player will score. Usually, individuals place bets on sporting matches before the event, and simply wait for the outcome. This way, you can watch the game and place bets as you assess what is happening on the field.
Once you log into your preferred sportsbook site, you’ll see that there will be an option for “live matches.” Once you click on it, you’ll find a list of sporting events going on at the moment that you can still bet on.
Expect the odds and lines to change as the game goes on – that’s normal, as what happens in the game effects the odds.
Online Betting is the Future
Betting on games and matches has always been a common pastime in India. Whether it’s a cricket or football match, or a local favourite like horse racing or Kabaddi – the internet has made it easy for team fans of all kinds to place wagers safely and legally. For many, it’s difficult to get to a physical bookie, and even then, they are not subjected to the same regulations as online betting sites. Placing wagers on popular games online is only going to become more popular. Every year, thousands of players embark on the fantastic hobby of online betting – and it’s time for you to join them! If you’ve always wanted to try, there’s never been a better time!*
*Currently, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, most sports have been cancelled, so there isn’t much to bet on. However, sportsbook makers are keeping an eye on the situation and are ready to reopen betting as soon as sporting events are taking place again.